Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 03, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 14, 2016

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The Empire Theatre was situated at 12/13 Tavistock Street, Devonport.

The title deeds commenced with an indenture dated Friday February 3rd 1893 to Mr Samuel Roberts in respect of the building and elevations.  Mr Roberts was a local builder and had been responsible for the construction of the Grand Theatre in East Stonehouse.

Designed by Mr Roberts' son, the Theatre was approached through an arcade of shops.   It sat about 1,000 people and had electric lighting throughout.

The Empire Theatre was opened on Easter Monday, March 26th 1894.  The manager was Mr John Ryland.  There was an orchestra of 10 players under the direction of Mr Sydney J Weeks, previously of the Plymouth Promenade Pier.

It was still known as the Empire Theatre in June 1896, when the cast put on a special show in aid of the "Drummond Castle" disaster fund, but it became the New Metropole Theatre as from Monday August 24th 1896.